Three Things You Should Know About Making Handmade Lotion

Handmade lotion is a wonderful thing, not only because it is customizable based on your needs, but also help you avoid harmful chemicals or ingredients that may cause allergies or sensitivities. While we had been using our very own handmade lotion personally and at the same time providing custom-made breastmilk/mother’s milk lotion making services for several years, we also discovered that there are many unsafe practices and formulas being used by other handmade lotion-makers locally and abroad. Throughout our various encounters, it is especially worrying when incorrect information and perception are being passed down to unsuspecting consumers and may cause harm especially to babies who are more susceptible. Unfortunately, most of the lotion formulas on the net/books are unsafe, causing even more misconceptions and confusion around.

Here are the three things that you should know about properly made handmade lotion, especially when you are trying to make it yourself or looking for someone to make it for you:

preservative

ONE: Preservatives are needed

If the lotion needs to last more than one week (even in the fridge), you will need to include preservatives. If the lotion is not used up within that one week in the fridge and is without any preservatives, discard it immediately. Putting the lotion in the fridge will NOT STOP bacteria, yeast and mould from growing, it merely slows down the process. After one week, the contamination would have been too much for safe usage. What you don’t see it with your very eyes doesn’t mean that the contamination is not there. Similar to opening fresh milk or juice, you actually need to consume it within 3-7 days! And remember that the following are NOT preservatives: Grape Seed Extract, Vitamin E and Rosemary Extract. These are just anti-oxidant, which slows down the oil and butter rancidity, but it does not stop bacteria, yeast or mould from spoiling the lotion. Always check whether the preservatives used are broad-spectrum, meaning it will guard against bacteria, mould and yeast. Containers used to store the lotion also matters, as the material of the containers used will remove the certain preservatives used thus making it susceptible to contamination. If you want to skip using preservatives, making a lotion bar would be a much better choice.

bacteria_1

TWO: Milk is BUG FOOD!

Putting milk, tea, honey, hydrosols, clay, floral waters, aloe vera, extracts, protein, powders, starches etc in your formula will REALLY challenge your preservative. We’ve seen many cases of other handmade lotion makers that provide services to make breastmilk lotion, and the amount of milk that they requested to make a small batch of lotion are tremendous! Even when preservatives are added, it will NOT STOP the bacteria from growing, or the milk from getting rancid. If you read the ingredients of lotion sold in counters or shops, you will notice that WATER is always at the top of the ingredient list, while milk, honey, aloe vera etc as listed way below of the ingredient listing. This means that the amount used is extremely little. And it’s not because the companies are saving some costs, it’s because the product will not pass the micro test and fit for consumer use! So how little should it be? Well, the shocking truth is just 0.1%. So if you decided to make a small batch of breastmilk lotion and the maker/formula asked for more than an ounce of milk from you, please run away!

THREE: Beeswax are not emulsifiers

Emulsifiers are the one that binds the water and oil together. Without it, your lotion will separate and you will just have a weird looking mixture. There are many recipes out there that use only oil, water and beeswax. Not only it is difficult to make sure that the ingredients blended well together, but you will also notice that there will be droplets of water forming on the mixture after some time. And not forgetting, the texture is not something that everyone will fancy. Beeswax is best used in lotion bars instead. To make a proper stable lotion, consider using a “self-emulsifying wax” like E-Wax which is great for beginners.

Having mentioned all these and while there are a lot more to learn and discover, these should not stop you from making or getting a handmade lotion done. It is always wonderful to make things and having control of what you put in, at the same time, it is also very important to know what you are doing, especially when the product is meant to be used by others.

Interested to know more or wish to get more information about our lotion making services? Do feel free to contact us 🙂

6 replies on “Three Things You Should Know About Making Handmade Lotion“

  • Ally Grzegorzewski

    Hello,
    I am trying to make breastmilk lotion and it keeps molding 🙁 what is the best recipe to make this lotion to last longer than a week and not mold.

    Reply
  • Sarah Rameau

    I started making my own breastmilk lotion 3 weeks ago. Turned out pretty well until 2 small jars I made had molds. I followed correctly the instructions of how to make it. But today I saw molds on both jars.
    1 jar:
    3oz breastmilk
    100ml Grapeseed oil
    5 drops vitamin e oil
    3 drops essential oil (lavander)

    2nd jar:
    3 oz breastmilk
    100ml olive oil
    5 drops vitamin e oil
    5 drops essential oil (ylang ylang)

    Reply
    • Soap Cart

      hi there. From your recipe, the content of milk is too high, and we don’t see any preservatives. However, even with preservatives, the high milk content will really challenge the preservative itself

      Reply
      • Chelsea

        Breastmilk lotion
        3oz breastmilk
        100ml Grapeseed oil
        5 drops vitamin e oil
        based on this recipe what would be your suggestion for amount of milk to use with a preservative and what preservative do you recommend? I’m trying to find something that will help my son’s incredibly sensitive skin but I also don’t want it to be growing a bunch of bacteria because that isn’t safe.

        Reply
        • Soap Cart

          As mentioned in the above article, the amount of milk to be used is just 0.1% at max. Also, the measurement must be in weight instead of volume. Some of the broad-spectrum preservatives that you can use are Optiphen, Germall plus or even Phenoxyethanol.

          Reply

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